Female Fight News for week of June 19 Claressa Shields and More
By David A. Avila
A slight lull in fight cards took place last week but those that occurred were monster bouts including Argentina, Mexico and the United States of America.
Claressa “T-Rex” Shields battled through an eight round slugfest with Sydney LeBlanc to win the vacant WBC Silver title in a super middleweight fight in Detroit, Michigan. Though no knockdowns occurred there was plenty of action.
Shields, 22, erupted with a barrage of blows and combinations that New Orleans fighter LeBlanc was able to survive with some crafty defensive work and smart countering. It was very good experience for Shields who showed that she could go eight rounds full blast without a hiccup.
“I want to thank her (LeBlanc) for taking the fight,” said Shields whose original opponent was unable to get a visa.
LeBlanc, 33, had been scheduled to fight a week earlier in New Orleans against Ashleigh Curry. But problems with Curry’s medical testing forced a postponement of that fight and luckily the opening to face Shields on several days-notice fit perfectly for the LeBlanc.
Some fans and fighters criticized the match for a title but it was actually a saving grace to keep the fight. Mark Taffet, the manager for Shields must have worked overtime to find a replacement for his fighter who was the main event on the Salita Promotions fight card.
Others criticized that Shields has only two pro fights and already has two titles: NABF middleweight and WBC Silver super middleweight. But the fact remains Shields has two Olympic gold medals and you can’t buy those with a pack of Crackerjacks. Winning a gold medal is proof enough. Winning two is super human.
Ask Ireland’s Katie Taylor how difficult it is to win two Olympic gold medals. Speaking of Taylor she is on target to make her American debut this summer. Like Shields, the Irish lightweight has shown to be a cut above so far.
During Shields fight with LeBlanc it was obvious that the heavier weight class was not a problem for the former Olympian. She had fought her pro debut against Franchon Crews at the same weight and looked fast and strong. Against LeBlanc, who seemed bigger in size, it was not a handicap. But LeBlanc used a well-placed jab at times to offset the avalanche of punches coming her way from the talented Shields. A world title fight looms next for the Michigan fighter.
The referee for Shields-LeBlanc fight Frank Garza did an excellent job as usual. He’s one of the best and never interfered or let the fight get out of hand. In most cases referees get in the way and this can be frustrating especially in two-minute rounds. Take a look at Cecilia Braekhus fight with Erica Farias and watch how that referee interfered and posed so much with his fancy hand signals that repeatedly took too much time from the clock. It’s a common problem in women’s boxing. Referees ought to take a look at Garza’s work. He’s one of the best.
South America’s leading boxing country once again delivered some riveting fights. The best of those saw legendary Marcela Acuna battle with Australia’s fearless Shannon O’Connell in Argentina.
O’Connell, 34, has been no stranger to fighting champions in their backyard and once again accepted a fight against not only a world champion, but a for certain hall of fame fighter in Acuna.
“The fight was hard, and I was obviously fighting the ref and the judges as well as the number one girl in the world, but we knew what we were in for,” said O’Connell on Monday from Australia. “We were never expecting it to be fair. I thought I could win regardless and I have no regrets. I would do it again at a heartbeat.”
The Aussie has fought in South Korea, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and now Argentina. She’s also fought as a bantamweight, super bantamweight, featherweight and super featherweight in pursuit of fights. Her sights are set on a match on American soil.
“It would be great to fight in the States soon,” O’Connell said.
At first it looked like Amanda Serrano would be fighting on July 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the fight has been changed to July 21 in Puerto Rico, according to Lou DiBella her promoter.
Serrano has rocketed to stardom after winning world titles in five weight divisions and will be defending the WBO super bantamweight title on this occasion. After the title defense, if all goes well, Serrano will be venturing into MMA.
On Saturday, another DiBella fighter Heather Hardy will be entering the cage for her first MMA battle in New York City on a Bellator fight card at Madison Square Garden. It’s very risky.
MMA is not as dangerous as pro boxing in terms of life and death. But It’s a sport that finds more ways to get injured simply from sparring let alone fighting in the cage. Years ago two-time world champion Wendy Rodriguez was riding high as a pro boxer but also was fighting in MMA. During MMA training she suffered a serious neck injury and was never able to recover from it and was forced to retire. It’s a severe cautionary tale.
Mexican heavyweight Alexandra Jimenez engaged in a nontitle fight in her hometown Mexico City and won by knockout in the second round over Martha Lara. Jimenez is the WBC heavyweight titlist and seems to be getting much better.
Female Fight News for week of June 19
Daniela Bermudez (21-3-3) and Paola Benavidez (7-2-2) fought to a draw after 10 rounds on Saturday June 17. The battle for the WBO super flyweight world title took place in Arroyo Seco, Santa Fe and was a rematch. Bermudez won the first affair. Also, Evelyn Bermudez (4-0) defeated Marianela Ramirez (0-1) by decision after four rounds in a super flyweight bout. Both Daniela and Evelyn Bermudez are sisters. For more on this fight card read Diego Morilla’s on-site account on this web site.
Marcela Acuna (46-6-1) won a thriller versus Australia’s Shannon O’Connell (15-5-1) after 10 rounds to retain the IBF super bantamweight world title on Friday June 16. The match was held in Caseros, Buenos Aires. Also, Brenda Carabajal (11-3-1) and Gloria Yancaqueo (3-8-3) fought to a draw after six terse rounds of super featherweight action. For more on this fight card read Diego Morilla’s account on this web site.
On Friday June 23, light flyweights Maria Cano (1-2) and Yisele Sosa (0-5) meet in a four round bout at San Juan, Argentina.
On Friday June 23, super bantamweights Iara Cortes (0-1) and Leandra Messina (0-1) meet in a four round bout in Quilmes, Buenos Aires.
On Saturday June 24, super bantamweights Laura Griffa (13-1) and Cristina Pacheco (10-9-2) meet in a 10 round bout for the Argentine super bantamweight title. Also, Edith Matthysse (14-8-1) and Natalia Del Valle (7-10-3) meet in a six round featherweight battle. Both bouts take place in Laguna Larga, Cordoba.
Femke Hermans (5-0) knocked out Klaudia Vigh (2-18-1) in the second round of their fight on Saturday June 17. The super middleweight fight took place in Brugge, Belgium. The winner Hermans, 27, fights out of Londerzeel, Belgium.
Marie Eve Decaire (8-0) was victorious by unanimous decision after eight rounds versus Alejandra Ayala (5-2) on Thursday June 15. The super welterweight match took place in Montreal, Canada.
On Saturday June 24, welterweights Kandi Wyatt (2-0) and Maria Guzman (0-0) meet in a four round bout in Calgary, Alberta.
Sarah Mahfoud (3-0) was the winner by decision after four rounds versus Jessica Sanchez (0-4-2) on Saturday June 17. The featherweight bout was held in Aarhus, Denmark. Mahfoud, 27, fights out of Hilleroed, Denmark. The loser Sanchez, 36, fights out of Spain.
Elena Gradinar (6-0) defeated Galina Ivanova (16-16-4) by unanimous decision after eight rounds on Saturday June 17. The featherweight contest was held in Kalev, Estonia.
On Saturday June 24, lightweights Joanna Koelln (7-0) and Monica Arkania (2-0) meet in a eight round fight. Also, middleweights Patricia Braesick (0-2) and Marion Farkas (0-3) meet in a four round bout. Both fights take place in Bernau, Brandenburg.
On Saturday June 24, minimum weights Sarasa Ichimura (3-4-1) and Minayo Kei (5-2) meet in a six round contest. Also, featherweights Kana Fukuda (3-2-1) and Wakako Fujiwara (3-2-1) meet in a six round bout. Both fights take place in Kobe, Hyogo.
Alejandra Jimenez (8-0) knocked out Martha Lara (10-7) in the second round on Saturday June 17. The heavyweight fight was held in Mexico City. Jimenez is the current WBC heavyweight titlist. Also, Yoseline Martinez (2-2) defeated Jessica Guerrero (2-2) by unanimous decision after four rounds of a light flyweight bout.
Yesenia Nereida (1-2) won by split decision over Mariana Guajardo (0-1) after four rounds on Tuesday June 13. The minimum weight fight was held in Monterrey, Mexico.
On Saturday June 24, flyweights Irma Sanchez (28-7-1) and Maria Atilano (0-2-1) fight in an eight round bout. Also, bantamweights Joselyn Arroyo (18-1) and Maricruz Rodriguez (1-2) battle in a six round fight. Both contests take place in San Rafael, Guadalajara.
On Saturday June 24, lightweights Ewa Brodnicka (13-0) and Marisol Reyes (15-10-1) fight in a 10 round contest in Gdansk, Poland. It’s unclear if Brodnicka, 33, is defending the interim WBO super featherweight title or the EBU lightweight title. Reyes, 37, fights out of the Dominican Republic.
On Saturday June 24, flyweights Eun Hye Lee (9-1) and Nori Guro (7-7-1) battle in a 10 round fight for the WIBA title in Seoul.
On Saturday June 24, welterweights Ornella Domini (10-0) and Ruth Chisale (6-0) battle in a six round bout in Le Lignon. The undefeated Domini is 28 and fights out of Tannay, Switzerland. The undefeated Chisale, 20, fights out of Malawi.
On Saturday June 24, featherweights Sandra Atanassow (6-0) and Jasmina Nad (6-17-3) meet in a six round bout in Berne.
Tyrieshia Douglas (12-1) defeated Ebony Rivera (7-1) by technical knockout in the fourth round on Saturday June 17. The win gives Douglas the vacant UBF super flyweight title. The match was held in Baltimore, Maryland. The winner Douglas, 28, fights out of Maryland.
Claressa Shields (3-0) was the winner by unanimous decision over Sydney LeBlanc (4-2-1) after eight rounds on Friday June 16. The win gives Shields the WBC Silver super middleweight title. The bout took place in Detroit, Michigan and Shields was the main event.
On Tuesday June 19, super welterweights Latondria Jones (5-0) and Ashleigh Curry (7-11-4) meet in a four round bout in Las Vegas. The fight card will be televised on Fox Sports 1. No word on whether the female bout will be included on the telecast.
On Thursday June 22, light flyweights Seniesa Estrada (8-0) and Rachel Sazoff (0-3) are scheduled to meet in a four round bout in downtown Los Angeles. Not confirmed.
On Friday June 23, welterweights Sarah French (0-1) and Amanda Ginski (0-0) meet in a four round bout in Rosemont, Illinois.
On Saturday June 24, welterweights Shianne Gist (1-0-2) and Crystal Byers (0-0) meet in a four round bout at Moundsville, West Virginia.
On Saturday June 24, featherweights Briana Gonzalez (2-0-1) and Tammy Franks (2-28-1) meet in a four round bout in San Antonio, Texas.
On Sunday June 25, super bantamweights Jaime Mitchell (1-0) and Letrial Solomon (0-0) meet in a four round bout at Dearborn, Michigan.
Ana Maria Lozano (14-6-1) knocked out Marianny Acosta (0-3-1) in the eighth round on Saturday June 17. The super bantamweight fight was in Petare, Venezuela.